As Movendi International previously reported, addiction industries have been teaming up to invest in the cannabis industry. This signals that these industries are planning to push cannabis on people on a massive scale as the third legal drug. Among the big investors, alcohol giants are pumping biggest amounts of cash into the emerging Big Marijuana.
Major alcohol industry giants, including Constellation Brands, Molson Coors, AB InBev, Heineken and Diageo, have been claiming their stakes in Big Marijuana in recent years.
Now, American beer maker Pabst Labs have launched a lemon flavored THC infused seltzer. Pabst Labs is North America’s largest privately held brewing company. In 2014 it was acquired by Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings, LLC. Blue Ribbon is a partnership between American beer entrepreneur Eugene Kashper and San Francisco-based TSG Consumer Partners LLC, a leading investor in growth consumer brands.
The seltzer has no alcohol content, the only addictive ingredient being THC. However, the Pabst Labs webpage claims that “Pabst Brewing Company does not manufacture, cultivate, distribute or sell any cannabis products,” but the new seltzer is marketed under their brand with their logo. What the beer giant does is forming a separate company to produce the THC infused Pabst Blue Ribbon lemon seltzer and having a licensing deal with the company. This strategy was employed to circumvent possible ramifications of US Federal Law which prohibits combining alcohol with cannabis.
All addiction industries want a piece of the cannabis industry because often users of cannabis consume alcohol as well. Data suggest that 68% of cannabis users consume alcohol and 48% of alcohol users also use cannabis.
By investing in the cannabis industry Big Alcohol is developing another addiction industry and future profit source, as alcohol use stagnates or decreases in many Western countries. It’s their long-term back-up plan to continue maximizing profits.
However, the cannabis beverage market in the USA has grown slower than expected. The major reason is that cannabis is still illegal as per federal law. So even the states that have legalized the substance can’t transport between states.
For now cannabis beverages stay limited to cannabis-infused seltzers. But the case won’t remain so for always. Already the cannabis industry is making inroads. Big Marijuana has exploited the pandemic to obtain cannabis delivery rights and push cannabis on people as a “stress reliever” during the current public health crisis. In another policy development the California state government passed a law to set up an appellation system for cannabis next year, similar to the AVA system for wine. Such a system would enable the cannabis industry to market their products to even more Americans.
Science has found that cannabis is a harmful substance which has negative effects on the brain and mental health. Cannabis negatively affects neurobiological development in adolescents and increases the risk of developing psychiatric disorders or worsening existing mental health issues.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana has documented the devastating effects legalizing cannabis has had in the United States. Some of these include:
- 101% increase in marijuana related hospitalizations in the state of Colorado since legalization.
- 25% increase in cannabis use disorder (CUD) among 12 to 17 years olds in legalized states.
- Increased amount of illicit marijuana plants seized by authorities.
- 47% of drivers in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana at a 5.0+ THC level also had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.